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Via the official Orbit Books blog, we are now privy to the gorgeous cover art and a synopsis for N.K. Jemisin’s upcoming sequel novella to her popular Inheritance trilogy. The Awakened Kingdom tells the tale of the first godling born to the world of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in thousands of years, and “Shill’s got big shoes to fill.”

As the first new godling born in thousands of years — and the heir presumptive to Sieh the Trickster — Shill’s got big shoes to fill. She’s well on her way when she defies her parents and sneaks off to the mortal realm, which is no place for an impressionable young god. In short order she steals a demon’s grandchild, gets herself embroiled in a secret underground magical dance competition, and offends her oldest and most powerful sibling.But for Eino, the young Darren man whom Shill has befriended, the god-child’s silly games are serious business. Trapped in an arranged marriage and prohibited from pursuing his dreams, he has had enough. He will choose his own fate, even if he must betray a friend in the process — and Shill might just have to grow up faster than she thinks.

If Jemisin’s other work is anything to go by (and it is!), readers have a lot to look forward to when The Awakened Kingdom releases later this year.

The Awakened Kingdom is a novella that takes place after the conclusion of The Kingdom of Gods, the concluding volume of Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy. It will be included in all print and eBook editions of the Inheritance trilogy omnibus that is set for release on December 9th, 2014.

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And so ends the transformation of these miraculous weapons from a solid, to a liquid, and, finally, superheated gas. What comes next? No one knows.

Half a War is the concluding volume in Joe Abercrombie’s YA/sorta-YA fantasy the Shattered Sea trilogy, which began with 2014’s Half a King. The second volume in the trilogy, Half the World, will be published in February 2015, and Half a War is expected to be published in July 2015.

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This week, I had the opportunity to join two good friends and fellow Hugo-nominees, Foz Meadows and Justin Landon (host), on Episode 24 of Rocket Talk. The three of us spent a lot of time together at LonCon 3, so we take the opportunity to discuss the convention, diversity in the fan community, the Hugo Awards, and even make a few book recommendations!

In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin invites Hugo-nominated blogger Foz Meadows and Hugo-winning blogger Aidan Moher on the show to talk about their experience at Loncon3 and the Hugo Awards ceremony. Their conversation covers the convention itself, the winners and losers of the Hugo Award, the nature of fandom, how fandom is evolving, and finishes with a few book recommendations for the voracious genre reader.

Listen to Episode 24 of Rocket Talk on Tor.com

or

Subscribe on iTunes

Near the end of the episode, Justin, Foz, and I all recommended some novels. My recommendations were:

  • City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (my favourite novel of 2014 so far)
  • The Eternal Sky Trilogy (beginning with Range of Ghosts) by Elizabeth Bear

The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Publisher: Tor.com - Pages: 31 - Buy: Book/eBook
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Editor’s Note: This review is spoiler-heavy. If this bothers you, please go read “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” on Tor.com, then return. Spoilers: it’s worth it.

Science fiction offers many things to readers. It allows them to be transported to another time, to wonder about the future, to see sights and visit worlds that are currently out of human reach. To writers, it provides a canvas that begs for speculation, to take issues that challenge us individually and as a society and examine them through a lens warped by time, imagination, and creative license.

Mary Robinette Kowal’s “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”, which recently won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette, is, on the surface, a wonderful and charming tale of an alternate history where NASA reached Mars during the ’50s. Peel back the layers, however, and Kowal’s Martian colony is alive with questions of aging, loyalty and family. Though she never quite provides answers, Kowal challenges readers to contemplate these themes that run through all our lives. Read More »

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What We Didn’t See:
Power, Protest, Story*

My parents taught me not to stare.

My parents taught me not to stare.

As children, even as adults, prolonged staring at others is something we do when we first encounter difference. It’s a long, often critical or fascinated look at something to try and understand it, to gauge where it fits in our taxonomy of things. First: is this a threat? Should I respond with a fight…or flight? Second: where does this person fit within my existing boxes? Woman or man? Black or white? Friend or foe?

We have nice neat boxes for everything, boxes we learned in childhood which have been reinforced by stories, by media, by our peers, as we grow older. We stare longest when we cannot fit what we see into an existing box; when we cannot figure out if it’s dangerous, or merely different: which many of us, unfortunately, still feel are the same thing.

And, if after staring long enough, we decide that this different thing is dangerous: we kill it.

Read More »